Attached is a photo. Is this mildew or bacterial disease? I am growing 32 seedlings.. and every one of them has the black spots. I keep picking off the leaves with black spots and the next day more leaves with black spots show up.
They are a few inches tall. This is a bummer. I direct sowed the seed around april 1st. Did I sow them too soon? Zone 7A. Should I have started indoors? Is the seed I purchased off ebay perhaps diseased?
It's common sweet basal -- Geneovese.
I guess I better pull all those plants and throw in the trash can? I have like 32 seedlings growing indoors now.. as of a week ago I sowed the seed. Perhaps I need to get ahold of some more seed and sow those as well.
I was hoping to have a huge harvest of basal this year so I could chop it up in food processor with olive oil and freeze into ice cubes.. then bag those cubes up in several gallon sized freezer bags... so I could have fresh spaghetti sauce throughout winter. (I find the frozen basal tastes just about the same as fresh in spaghetti sauce.. the dry stuff from stuff tastes like grass.)
Should I plant the new basal seedlings in a different bed since the disease could now be in the soil? Will the disease die off in the soil in the summer or do I need to throw away the top inch or so of soil?
Basil is a tricky one. I'd definitely put the new plants in a separate bed. How are you watering the outdoor plants? I've found that when I take pains not to let splashback of dirt come up and hit leaves when watering, it helps. Usually once you get through the initial baby stage, you have to worry less about spotting, though I have seen it come later in the year, depending on humidity and such.
It may have come in on the seed and if you really like to have lots of basil for freezing as you noted, I think I would get both seed and (if possible) plants from a local nursery source....the latter will have culled spotted/diseased stock before placing it out for sale.
As for your remaining, plants, I do think there can be much recovery during the year if the climate is favorable as Lynora mentioned....So for these I would keep the best looking plants, remove the diseased-looking leaves, but plant these in a place sequestered from
any new stock that you germinate or purchase. Good luck!
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